February 20, 2004
for Texas Studies to spread flag knowledge
Texas flag tour, sponsored by the university, will travel
around the state educating visitors and promoting TCUs
or False: Texas didnt have an official state flag
By sponsoring a traveling exhibit, Texas Flags:
1836-1945, the Center for Texas Studies hopes to
educate museum visitors on the states rich history,
said Gene Smith, the centers director.
The tour starts Feb. 28 at the Bob Bullock Texas State
History Museum in Austin, continues to the El Paso Museum
of Art, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
in College Station and ends at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame
in December 2005.
Smith said the centers goal is to preserve, share
and commemorate Texas history, and this tour, which consists
of 30 historic flags related to Texas, accomplishes all
Texas has a rich and multi-cultural history,
Smith said. You can see the flag African American
troops carried, which isnt an image you might think
of when you think of Texas.
Heather Brand, the head of public relations at the museum
in Austin, said minor adjustments on the exhibit are being
We are excited to be the first destination on the
tour, Brand said. These flags represent diverse
facets of Texas history, and its exciting that theyll
be displayed at the state capital.
One unique flag on display is the Liberty
flag flown during the Texas Revolution by the Texas army
at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836, Brand said. Another
noteworthy flag is the one that flew on the Battleship
Texas during the World War II D-Day invasion.
TCU assembled the collection by rounding up flags from
eight different museums and archives from Texas and other
We want to bring TCUs name to the public,
Smith said. Theres a certain degree of satisfaction
in knowing that this little school up in Fort Worth is
making a name for itself in the middle of Longhorn country
and later in the middle of Aggie country.
The 7,000-square-foot exhibit premiered at the Houston
Museum of Fine Arts in spring 2002, where more than 3,000
visitors stopped in to view the flags.
Dennis Alexander, the director of foundation relations,
said he wrote a proposal in October 2003 to ask for funding
for the Center for Texas Studies to take over the exhibit
and take it on the road.
The $200,000 tour is funded by individual donors, Frost
Bank, Heartland Alliance of America, TCU and the institutions
that host the exhibit, Alexander said.
This is the last time these flags will be assembled together
because the light in the exhibits breaks down the textiles
in the fabric, Smith said.